A Social Scoreboard fit for purpose – Social Platform recommendations to the Social Protection Committee

On 20 April 2021, Social Platform met with Kristoffer Lundberg and Paul Minty, chair and secretary of the indicators sub-group (ISG) of the Social Protection Committee, to discuss the ongoing revision of the Social Scoreboard.

In the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights (Social Pillar) Action Plan, proposed by the European Commission in March 2021, the European Commission is undertaking a revision of the Social Scoreboard that will track Member States’ trends and performances, enabling the European Commission to better monitor progress towards the implementation of the Social Pillar principles. The European Commission’s plans for this revision can be found in the annexes (annex II) of the Action Plan.

The ISG of the Social Protection Committee has a consultative role, supporting the European Commission in reviewing the Social Scoreboard by providing feedback on the proposed indicators.

Social Platform organised this meeting together with several representatives from our member organisations and experts from the EUROSHIP project, of which we are a partner, to ask questions and present our views on key aspects of the revision.

Following a presentation by the secretary of the ISG about the work of the group, participants engaged in a discussion about the revision of the Social Scoreboard. We highlighted several indicators we believe are missing that crucial to fully monitor progress towards the implementation of various Social Pillar principles. This includes an indicator that captures the current homelessness crisis across the EU, an indicator reflecting access to quality and affordable long-term care, and indicators measuring the level of investment in social services as a percentage of GDP spent and/or measuring self-reported met/unmet needs for social services.

Moreover, we highlighted the need to better break down data by population groups to detect the effects of intersectional discrimination and demonstrate barriers different population groups experience in accessing equal rights and opportunities. We outlined the need to collect data on racial and ethnic origin in line with the demands of the EU Anti-racism Action Plan and following the principles of equality data collection. We also emphasised the importance of breaking down data by age, gender, country of birth and disability status for all Social Scoreboard indicators, not only where it is considered to be “relevant”, as foreseen by the European Commission.

The chair and secretary of the ISG highlighted some of the work on social statistics they are currently undertaking and described some of the difficulties and constraints in developing comparable, timely and disaggregated social statistics across the EU. Nevertheless, the chair of the ISG encouraged Social Platform and our members to be proactive with advice and expertise on existing gaps and recommendations for indicators and better disaggregation of data.

Together with our members, we will be developing an advocacy document with key messages on the revision of the Social Scoreboard, which will be disseminated to the ISG and European Commission, with a view to influencing the ongoing revision process.